♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Plot twists…do you have a favorite you can
talk about (yours or someone else’s?)
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. We appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
I’m going to talk about my own work, because I don’t get a chance to do so very often. My second book OP-DEC and the Trailokya Series all have a twist in them. Divulging the twists in OP-DEC, however would spoil the book. So, I will stick to Trailokya. Beware! There are spoilers ahead, but they also provide an interesting insight for a second read or those who don’t mind spoilers before a first read (like me)!
Are you ready to talk about this twist? This is your last warning to run before I tell you something you don’t want to know before reading the series!
My favorite twist from Trailokya comes in the form of Oriael. When you first meet him, you’ll know him as Father Orius. Maiel meets him when she goes to Earth to hide out until things cool off back home regarding her last mission. However, the Baron Morgentus pursues her.
This shadowalker wants to force her out of her oaths to join him in Jahannam. His words carefully work to elicit a burning in her core. Father Orius gives Captain Maiel refuge in the priory with the brothers at his church. The brothers built him a room warded against such intrusions, because, come to find out, he is a recidia. A recidia is a duta (angel) who has abandoned their post in Zion and drops to existence in Samsara. They’ve not abandoned all oaths, however. This important fact keeps them from becoming a danava (demon). Yet, they are the main targets of danava who have broken into the Earth realm.
A recidia looses much of their abilities as a duta, including their wings, devolving them to a humanoid state. Their brilliant coloration fades, and their atman resonates lower, locking them out of the keys to other realms. They cannot go home until the resonance rises again. The only ways for them to accomplish this: another duta takes them back before they form a bio vessel, or they form a bio vessel and live until they return to the oaths via sacrifice. (They may also devolve further and follow a path through Jahannam.) The bio vessel must die for them to pass into Zion again, because the suit is incompatible with the higher dimensions (yes, it differs from sattva).
Father Orius has lived for many centuries on Earth, sorting out his past. Come to find out, he is there because his brother committed multiple atrocities against human souls and became a danava (see my post on Grigori for more on this). That brother is the baron pursuing Maiel. Thus, the individual in which Maiel puts her trust is the brother of her nemesis and Orius is half-burned down himself! That twist should make you distrust him. Imagine being so vulnerable, and the only person to rely on is more wounded than yourself. The reader should understand: Maiel’s path is orchestrated to test her metal, and to restore Orius while giving Dominic (her husband) his last shot to choose Zion over Jahannam.
Conversely, Maiel is the one for which Orius must sacrifice himself, displaying his return to the oaths. Keep in mind, this may sound cruel, but duta are not afraid of death. It’s like taking off a coat. They are assured of what else there is, what comes upon death. Shedding that bio vessel does not have the same mystery for them that it would for you or I. Besides, Orius, who returns to his form as Oriael is a Power. He’s higher in rank than a svarg (what we would call an Archangel). He missed this resonance immensely and wants desperately to return to it.
There’s one last twist to this. When Orius takes Maiel to a contact at another church, his trustworthiness is called further into question. The gentleman in question: Archbishop Luca Geitz. One might think a holy man trustworthy, but you and I know that evil rests here, too. Geitz isn’t in this to help either of them, though, proving Orius’s gut feeling about the matter right. So, why did he place any trust in this man? Remember when I said that Maiel is the one to get him home again? Orius wasn’t given any reason to feel Geitz wasn’t just a liar. He truly believes the man might actually have the ear of another duta who can help, but if not, it was just a lie. He never suspected Geitz of working with Jahannam. This precipitates his end. That’s kind of a twist in itself.
With Oriael’s return to Zion, we see Morgentus’s power slip. He becomes more of a lackey in the eyes of his princes. Throughout the remainder of the story, we see him grasp for power and struggle to regain his position. No matter what he does, though, the baron cannot build back from this blow. It is as if his power directly tied to his brother’s status as recidia.
The other twist in this: the restored Oriael is reluctant to help Maiel further, at least outside of what Zion has declared is her path. Even when he is charged with the protection of another duta sent to intercept her should her husband Dominic fail in this incarnation, Oriael forces the young man to toe the line. Thus, Oriael becomes a hurdle for Gediel and Maiel in their path. Unironically embracing the hierophant role upon his return seems uncharacteristic, but when the reader understands his past in contrast to his present, it makes a lot of sense. Despite having proved himself in sacrifice, there is still judgment from peers.
With all eyes on every action he takes, Oriael is focuses on proving he’s there to stay and that he takes his position seriously. In addition, he has a little one and a wife to care for. Thus, his focus remains on maintaining what is regained, even though he wants to rescue his friends from turmoil. Consider, also, that duta adhere to dharma. The path written is an oath as much as their guardian oaths, and sacred.
Their motivations are complicated and reasoned, as would be true of a real person. Each duta has an individual perspective, too, informed by their experiences. So, they don’t always agree on the how and why of missions. Still, Oraiel walks on egg-shells, to continue to prove himself, but also prove his faith in his commanders and the ruler of Zion.
These twists can be subtle in their curves, but I think it’s one of the most meaningful in the series. I could unpack this relationship for hours! Do you have time to discuss how he becomes an uncle to the younger duta, teaching them their ways, like a Native American Uncle would with the youth in their community?
Hop on over to find out about all the twists in this week’s hop. The other authors have so much to offer you, reader! Click on their links below.